Many people ask me how long The Marketplace has been around. We have been in existence since September 2012 but honestly I was doing it for years on my own before it ever came to be called The Marketplace. It started with tears. I heard stories of people who had no opportunity and no fighting chance. God whispered in my ear, “What are you going to do about that?” I spent years studying sustainability and reading countless books. I took my degree in Finance and started giving it 3rd world context. I took my love of storytelling and began to weave it together with my love of fashion. They needed markets so I started telling their stories and selling their products. Was it hard? Absolutely! I was a mom, a wife, and Director of Finance at a large church. I gave up evenings, weekends, and vacations to pursue this. Was I qualified to do what I was doing? No, not at all!
Those tears drove me. God would break my heart for the poor over and over again but He always built it back stronger than ever. Fast forward to March 2020, shows are being cancelled and we now have a Stay at Home order. Covid-19 is in full swing. I heard story after story of our artisans not having work, of how many did not have clean water, and how many were not going to have enough to eat. I spent more days crying on the floor of my Webstore than I care to remember. Then I thought of this quote. “Marisa, get up. They need you. Others are retreating and you need to move forward. Just move forward.”
Those tears the last couple of weeks have allowed us to pivot in a way that I never thought possible. Our social media community embraced us and responded with order after order and with emails, text, and comments. We have been able to create more and deeper relationships online. Those tears pushed me to be more vulnerable and to take greater risks. It forced me to show up day after day even when I had no idea how to navigate this. But something surprising happened, I began to get more creative and really had fun with it!
There is someone today who needs to hear this. Take time to sit with the Lord and get real honest. What moves you to tears and what is God saying to do with this. I love Easter because it symbolizes a rebirth. Use this time to find your purpose, to be the person who God called you to be. Will it be easy? No. But it will give you the strength not to quit when things get tough.